Topic: Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Secondary) Programs

Scientific Ratings in this topic:

1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence

2 - Supported by Research Evidence

3 - Promising Research Evidence

4 - Evidence Fails to Demonstrate Effect

5 - Concerning Practice

NR - Not able to be Rated

Learn more about the scale

Definition for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Secondary) Programs:

Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Secondary) Programs is defined by the CEBC as programs targeted at individuals or families which are at a high risk for maltreatment with a goal of preventing abuse or neglect from occurring. These programs may offer activities targeted to families that have one or more risk factors, including families with substance abuse or domestic violence issues, teenage parents, parents of special needs children, single parents, and low-income families. Services may include parent education and training for high-risk parents, respite care, and home visiting programs.

  • Target population: Families at high risk for abuse or neglect
  • Services/types that fit: Services include assessment, case planning, case management, education, skill building, and/or service delivery to address risk factors for maltreatment
  • Delivered by: Child welfare workers, mental health professionals, or trained paraprofessionals
  • In order to be included: Program must specifically target the prevention of abuse and/or neglect in high-risk families
  • In order to be rated: There must be research evidence (as specified by the Scientific Rating Scale) that examines maltreatment-related outcomes, such as abuse and neglect reports and abuse-related parenting behaviors, either observed or self-reported
Downloadable Topic Area Summary

Programs in this Topic Area

The programs listed below have been reviewed by the CEBC and, if appropriate, been rated using the Scientific Rating Scale.

Five Programs with a Scientific Rating of 2 - Supported by Research Evidence:

  • Child First
    [Child FIRST, Child FIRST (Child and Family Interagency Resource, Support, and Training)]
    Children prenatal to 5 years old and their parents/caregivers who are at risk of or have experienced child abuse, neglect, ...
  • Early Start
    Parents of a newborn (usually up to 12 months of age) and/or parents in the antenatal period facing multiple disadvantages
  • Parents Under Pressure (PuP) – non-responder
    Families with mental health challenges including trauma, substance misuse, family conflict, and severe financial stress
  • Safe Environment for Every Kid (SEEK)
    Primary Prevention use: Families with children aged 0-5 years. Secondary Prevention use: Families with children aged 0-5 years who have ...
  • SafeCare®
    [Project SafeCare]
    Parents at-risk for child neglect and/or abuse and parents with a history of child neglect and/or abuse

Ten Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:

Eight Programs with a Scientific Rating of NR - Not able to be Rated:

Why was this topic chosen by the Advisory Committee?

The Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Secondary) Programs topic area is relevant to child welfare because these programs play a key role in the continuum of child welfare services. Child safety is the primary goal for child protection agencies. Per the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act "the failure to coordinate and comprehensively prevent and treat child abuse and neglect threatens the futures of thousands of children and results in a cost to the Nation of billions of dollars in tangible expenditures, as well as significant intangible costs." To prevent child abuse and neglect, or to intervene early when a situation is brought to the attention of child protection agencies, is a shared community responsibility. With the introduction and implementation of the Differential Response approach in California, information regarding proven prevention and early intervention strategies is critical to the continuation of the child welfare improvements states are seeking to achieve. Promoting safe, healthy, and nurturing environments are essential to the well-being of children and their families.

Teresa Contreras, MSW
Former CEBC Advisory Committee member

Topic Expert

Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Secondary) Programs was one of new topic areas launched in 2007. Deborah Daro, PhD was the topic expert and was involved in identifying and rating any of the programs with an original load date of 2007 or earlier (as found on the bottom of the program's page on the CEBC). The topic area has grown over the years and in 2023, the topic area was revised and expanded. All of the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (Secondary) Programs added since 2007 were identified by CEBC staff, the Scientific Panel, and/or the Advisory Committee. For these programs, Dr. Daro was not involved in identifying or rating them.